Modernization services of aircraft like the refurbishment of Argentinian Gendarmerie AS350 become key in Helibras’ search for new markets
Helibras announced on January 5th, 2016, that it delivered a modernized AS350B2 at the end of 2016, to the Gendarmerie Nacional Argentina. The helicopter modernization was completed in the Helibras factory, in Itajubá, Brazil. The deal is part of the company’s initiative to seek new markets in view of the economic slowdown in Brazil, and also continue the supply of aircraft for the international market serviced by the company in South America. The first of these helicopters is a new AS350 B2 made in Itajubá (MG) for an Ecuadorian customer, That helicopter is expected to be completed for delivery in the coming weeks.
The modernized AS350B2 “Squirrel,” completed for the Argentine Gendarmerie, was originally manufactured and delivered by Helibras As an AS350B model to Argentina in 1989 to to carry out missions in internal security and national defense overseen by Argentina to dissuade and respond to threats, crises, contingencies and security incidents . The Modernization effort completed by Helibras saw the Argentine Gendarmerie AS350 upgraded from a B version to a B2, the full refurbishment of the helicopter consisting of installation of a new Safran Arriel 1D1 engine, main and tail rotor blades, full modernization of avionics and gauges in the cockpit and also included conducting a “C” check on the helicopter and a full repaint. The upgrade process performed by Helibras enabling larger fleets a longer service life for their aircraft for lower cost than that of a purchasing a new helicopter.
“The Argentinian Gendarmerie operates eleven of our aircraft, six of which are the AS350. We expect to extend this service to the rest of the Argentinian Gendarmerie fleet and we stand ready to support these upgrades,” said Dominique Andreani, Helibras Vice President of Business and Services. “In order to provide services to Latin American customers, the company works closely with other subsidiaries in the region (Airbus Helicopters Chile, Cono Sur and Mexico) to fulfill the group’s policy of offering the best service to our customers. Our interest involves not only upgrades and maintenance, but also supply of helicopters produced in our factory, “he added.
The Modernization of the Argentinian Gendarmerie will increase engine performance from 641 shaft horsepower (SHP) to 732 (SHP), giving the new Argentine Gendarmerie AS350 B2’s the highest takeoff weight (going from 1,950 kg to 2,250 kg), better cruising speed and higher operational performance for their missions.
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